Where do you get your ideas for quilts?
I find it fascinating that we are all so very different as quilters, yet we all have that one wonderful thing in common. And, though the ways we do things can be as different as night and day, there is room for everyone at the table. And speaking of the table, welcome back to the Sunday Sewcial!
Won’t it be fun to learn where we all get ideas from? I think so.
Color always gives me ideas. That yellow and green in the photo above makes me think of doing something jaggedy and improv. I can almost taste things pungent and tart. It also puts me in mind of John Deere tractors, but I can’t see making a quilt about them. At least not today.
I can tell you that I also get ideas from antique and vintage quilts. That’s probably not a surprise to anyone, right? Or maybe it is? So often, I can see a quilt and the pattern, or usually, color, will strike a chord with me, and I will start thinking about how it plays with whatever is next to it. This can send me whirling off in another direction. That might sound strange, but I just let my imagination lead. Even though I say I don’t follow patterns, in this respect I do. There is something soothing about the orderliness of pattern and repetition. I mean, this one below is calming, right?
Sometimes I get ideas from words too. I adore words in all forms. I love hearing them, writing them, seeing them in print, on a screen, and especially on a quilt. Song lyrics often spark ideas. The quilt below, “Trading My Sorrows,” is based on the song by the same name. I first created it in response to a call for entries in Mary Kerr’s exhibit, “Dare to Dance: An Artist’s Expression of Joy.” I had stewed over the subject for months, discarding idea after idea. But I heard that song in church and the idea came to life. I could hardly sit still through the rest of church. (Yes, this happens to me a lot in church. Focusing on the words of a song, and especially a hymn, often kicks my imagination into high gear.)
My ideas often come from the pieces I’m working with. I can’t necessarily tell you that there are tangible clues, but different pieces send me off on different tangents. The quilt below, “Out of Time,” was inspired by a raggedy dresser scarf. That scarf was eventually cut in half and sewn back together to become the center of the quilt. And yes, at its first show, it won a ribbon. Fun, huh?
I imagine that you, like me, get your ideas from all sorts of places. But can you name just one or two? I’m curious and I’ll be eager to hear, so leave a comment!